August 24, 2015

why no-one will ever truly know you... but that's okay

The other day, I was imagining a scenario in which a mad scientist took my consciousness out my mind, and then offered me several different minds from which to I had to identify my own. (It was late. I'd been drinking. Just go with me here....)

Of course, I'd be able to pick my mind immediately. Any of us would be able to pick our own minds. We would recognise our minds by our thoughts, fears and desires. Your thoughts would look very different to mine, or my mother's, or my friend Mandy's, or my cat's.

Which demonstrates to me that we all know who we are. We may not be able to clearly articulate who we are, because defining our own uniqueness in language is remarkably difficult. But we do, at a very profound level, know ourselves, far more than we may believe.

cristy johnson 'thinking too much'

But how well can other people ever know us?

We define ourselves by our thoughts. Sure, you may be a 'mother' or 'father', a 'son' or 'daughter', a 'writer' or 'accountant' or 'stay at home mum' or 'surgeon', but these are all just indicators of the things you think about all day.

I am a writer, sure, but this is because a lot of my thoughts are about writing. I am a mother, definitely, because my head is filled with thoughts and memories of my kids. But, while these are easy ways to explain who I am, they don't adequately describe what I feel like inside my own head.
I am my thoughts. I am a conglomeration of the thousands of things that cross my mind all day.

"I am worried about..."
"I miss her..."
"I love him..."
"I'm so uncomfortable about...."
"I wish that..."
"I'm scared to..."
"I'm excited about..."

These thoughts are what define me. These thoughts make me who I am.

And these thoughts are the reason that no-one else in this world will ever fully know me. Because no-one else will have access to all my thoughts; others can only know me through my actions and words.

And the same goes for you. You can never be known in your entirety because no-one else can ever get into your head. Unless you walk around offering a running commentary into your most private thoughts - in which case other people will most likely judge you to be psychotic - you can never be fully known by another.

And this is fine. It is how it is. But we need to remember that - just like no-one else will fully know us - we can never fully know another. Every single person you know has endless thoughts. They have a secret inner world that matches up only to a degree with the outside persona to which you are privy. And being aware of that reminds us that no-one is better than another, or more valuable, or more worthy.

We are all just thoughts. We are all just minds.

And my mind was clearly feeling a bit profound the other day. Right now, it wants to stop thinking altogether and take a bath.

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